5 February 2019

It won’t be possible to properly assess the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry for some time, as recommendations will first need to be translated into policy, and then into legislation. If any criminal cases actually make it to court, it could take a decade. But to get a quick sense of how tough Hayne really was, it’s worth seeing what the in-house newsletter of the finance industry, the Australian Financial Review, has to say about it: “Hayne blames remuneration incentives as the source of just about all the unethical and illegal problems identified during questioning by the inquiry’s chief legal counsels, Rowena Orr and Michael Hodge. And yet, he does little to try and deal with this problem.” The AFR puts “big banks” at the top of its “winners” table — and over at The Australian, Adam Creighton agrees: “Banks’ and fund managers’ share prices may well surge today, as the modesty of the final report dawns on investors and financial executives alike. Bottle shops in Sydney’s and Melbourne’s east would be well advised to stock up on Moet.”